Since January 1937, Americans have dutifully paid into Social Security trusting that its benefits will be there for them when they retire. Yet, that faith now seems unfounded with Social Security hemorrhaging cash. According to the latest report by Social Security’s Trustees, the program’s combined trust funds will be unable to deliver full benefits in 2034, forcing future beneficiaries to suffer a 21 percent benefit cut. In order for the program to survive, comprehensive reform is necessary.
Earlier this month, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced the Social Security Reform Act of 2016, a bill that aims to prevent the forecasted cuts by implementing a wide series of structural reforms to the program. According to the Social Security Administration’s Chief Actuary Stephen Goss, if the reforms outlined in the bill are implemented, “the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds would be fully solvent…throughout the 75-year projection period.”
There are no new ideas in this bill, nor does it aim to radically change the structure of Social Security. Rather, it’s a plan which would not involve raising taxes. In general terms, the plan outlined in the bill would affect Social Security in two ways: the mechanics of Social Security would be updated to account for modern economic conditions, and the program would further redirect funds towards poorer beneficiaries.
Continue reading at Townhall.
Today’s Young Voices Podcast features Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given and YV Advocate Michael Shindler on why Congress should reform the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program before it runs out of money.
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See if you can make any sense of the following Trump quote: “If you listen to the Democrats, they want to do many things to Social Security and I want to do them on its own merit. You listen to them, what they want to do to Social Security, none of these folks are getting elected, OK, whether they can do it or not. I’m going to save Social Security. I’m going to bring jobs back from China.” After the rest of his unrelated response, the moderator wisely followed up and asked how he would actually save Social Security. Trump talked about cutting “tremendous waste, fraud and abuse” in the system.
There is fraud in Social Security, but ending that fraud isn’t nearly enough to save the system. The deficit in the retirement trust fund will exceed $60 billion by 2021, with no improvement in sight. Most of that deficit isn’t abuse — it’s structural. There are too many retired beneficiaries depending on too few workers. Trump wants to stick with Social Security’s status quo, but the system needs reforms like a gradual increase in the retirement age or the option to put benefits in a personalized account.
Read the rest on The Washington Examiner, here.
Our system of taxing the young to pay for the old needs reform to reflect 21st century realities.
“We’ve been crippled by Social Security, by Medicare … and that is the root of the problem. Entitlements. Let me be clear: You are entitled to nothing.”
These words come from Kevin’s Spacey’s character Frank Underwood, star of the Netflix political drama “House of Cards.” Harsh though they may be, they’re not without truth: America’s principal health and retirement programs for the elderly, Social Security and Medicare, are placing a massive fiscal burden on its youngest generations and crippling the country with debts that cannot be paid.
While the official national debt sits at a staggering $18 trillion, taking future entitlement spending obligations into account pushes the number beyond the conceivable: $200 trillion. That’s 14 zeroes, over 10 times the official number. The Social Security trust fund is projected to reach insolvency in 19 years, and Medicare will be unable to meet its projected obligations in 15 years. Young Americans are stuck paying into programs that, absent reform, will only partially be there for their retirements – if they’re around at all.
To cover the ballooning costs of these programs, workers in 2050 would have to pay nearly a third of their hard-earned income just to cover payroll tax obligations – over twice the rate paid today. This and other taxes would make it impossible for many workers to save for their own retirements.
Read the full article at U.S. News and World Report.